Time and Patience, important ingredients in brewing good beer
Being by nature an impatient person, having a little patience was the first thing I needed to learn for successful brewing. So when I discovered the two basic ingredients for brewing beer, namely a tin of liquid brewing sugar and a tin of Brewtec Lager extract under the Christmas tree a few years ago with no equipment to actually brew the beer, I had my first chance to learn a little patience (while waiting to buy the equipment).Finally, after a few months of the ingredients waiting for me in the cupboard I had an opportunity to buy the required equipment. Conveniently I was able to buy a complete started kit, with all the equipment required for my first brew. After the required scrubbing and sterilising I was now finally ready to brew my first beer! After mixing the ingredients together, sprinkling the yeast on top and sealing the barrel with an airlock the most exciting wait began. The next morning I came downstairs (rather early) to hear the most beautiful gurgling sound of the bubbling airlock – my first brew was finally underway. The next ten days bubbled by happily as the beer fermented away until it was ready for bottling. Now came the most agonising wait – 2 long weeks before the first taste test. This time was spent wondering how the beer would taste, had it carbonate well or did I do something wrong which would make it undrinkable. Fortunately, when the time came, the beer was not rotten and it had bubbles. However, it did taste a bit like you would imagine home brew to taste (if you know no better) – unrefined and little ‘green’. I then tested the next bottle at 4 weeks – and it was remarkably better, so I decided to ignore the rest of the bottles for another month. This strategy paid dividends with the beer getting better with each passing month and proved to me that Time and Patience of two key elements in brewing a good beer. From this point on I’ve been hooked and my patience has kept improving, especially as the brews seem to keep getting better with age. In fact I opened a bottle of this first brew recently, which had now age for over a year and it is hard to imagine it being the same beer as when I opened it for the first time.